Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Poll: Seven in 10 New Yorkers are Islamophobic Bigots

Good luck spinning this, Mikey Bloomberg.
Move the mosque!

Seven in ten New Yorkers say the proposed mosque/Islamic community center near Ground Zero should be relocated because of opposition from 9/11 families — and an equal number want state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to probe the group’s finances, a new statewide poll released today found.

“Overwhelmingly — across party and regional lines — New Yorkers say the sponsors ought to voluntarily move the proposed mosque to another location,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

The survey of 1,497 of New York residents found:

54 percent agree that “freedom of religion” gives Muslims the legal right to build the mosque on Park Place, while 40 percent disagreed and the rest were undecided.

But 53 percent also said Muslim developers should not be allowed to build the mosque near the World Trade Center site in deference to sensitivities of 9/11 relatives, with 39 percent opposed and the rest undecided.

A whopping 71 percent then said the organizers should voluntarily move the mosque elsewhere because of opposition from 9/11 family members. Only 21 percent were opposed, with the rest undecided.

And 71 percent also said that AG Cuomo should probe the finances behind the building of the mosque, also known as 51Park. The concerns over who bankrolls the mosque comes as developer Sharif el-Gamal just announced the launch of the facility’s fundraising campaign and he collected $10,000 last week from supporters.

A sizable number of New Yorkers have negative views of Islam. Nearly one-third — 31 percent have an unfavorable opinion and about one-quarter were undecided. Less than a majority – 45 percent – had a favorable opinion.
Amazing how people would have a negative view of Islam. I mean all that happened was Islamists murdered 2800 people in Lower Manhattan for all the world to see.
About one-quarter of New Yorkers think “mainstream Islam” encourages violence against non-Muslims, while 54 percent consider it a peaceful religion. About one in five had no opinion.

There were partisan differences. Republicans were most strongly against the mosque: 72 percent of GOPers said Muslims should not be allowed to build it there, and 85 percent said planners should voluntarily relocate the facility.

Democrats were more divided – with 49 percent opposed to government blocking the project because of objections from 9/11 families. But even 61 percent of Democrats said organizers should voluntarily move it.
So even six out of 10 Democrats agree the mosque should be moved, yet their own leaders considers them bigots. Seems like a great strategy to win over voters.

Meanwhile as some reporters finally investigate these very shady developers more and more disturbing details arise.
Run-ins with the law and tax troubles are a family affair for two brothers developing the mosque near Ground Zero.

Sammy El Gamal, a partner in the firm that purchased the former Burlington Coat Factory at 45 Park Place and one of four directors of a nonprofit created to build the mosque, owes the state $22,400 in taxes. State records show three warrants issued to him, including a $19,895 bill in 2007.

Asked about the taxes, he said, "I don't think that it concerns you. Have a nice day."
Some way to reach out and build bridges, Sammy.
El Gamal is among the directors listed on an application to the state Attorney General's Office to create a charitable organization that would build and run the Islamic cultural center.

Also on the board is Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and the three directors -- including El Gamal's older brother, Sharif -- of Soho Properties, which paid $4.85 million for the Park Place site slated to house the center.

The Post reported Sunday that Soho Properties is in arrears to the city for $224,270 in property taxes on the site.

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